Here we go again
  |  First Published: December 2016

With the warmer weather here, things are looking up. Finally, this clean, warm water is starting to liven up the fish along Broken Bay in Pittwater. Most mornings, surface activity can be found along Pittwater or out in Broken Bay.

There has been a variety of species mixed in with the melee – tailor, salmon and kingfish on the surface. On the bottom, there have been some flathead and trevally caught. The best way to find activity is to watch for the working seagulls and birds. Approach these schools of fish in stealth mode, as they’re disappearing with too much disturbance on the surface.

Of course, there are many ways to target these fish. The most effective is casting lures and soft plastics while they’re feeding aggressively. For those who like to cast soft plastics, the tailor are aggressive. Even though you may be targeting kingfish, not many lures make it back to the boat in a condition that can be cast again. For those targeting kingfish, use surface poppers. These lures will not only catch kingfish but a variety of other species as well.

If you want to catch salmon, small metal lures are working at the moment. Don’t forget to put out live baits while you’re near the activity. By placing live baits down deeper, especially near the bottom, you may be lucky enough to tangle with a big flathead or even a mulloway.

Along Pittwater, there are great kingfish to be tangled with, but patience is required. You’ll also need live squid and preferably small ones. Some of the kingfish have been just under the metre mark and all of them inhaled small live squid, even with a live yellowtail offered as well.

Unfortunately, these fish seem to be loners. They’re not that easy to find, but once one is flapping on the floor of the boat, all the frustrations just fade away. Over the next month, we’ll see a lot more kingfish come into Pittwater. Not only will we have these larger fish, but we’ll also have the smaller run of kingfish during summer.

Once these fish arrive, we can target kingfish for a short period using live yellowtail instead of spending hours trying to catch squid. The area to try for a kingfish at the moment is along the western side of Pittwater and around Scotland Island. Catching squid can be a frustrating affair right now, but if you can’t find squid in one area, move onto the next patch of weed. You will eventually catch a few.

The better squid jig size to use is 2.0g. Any jigs with a patch of orange on it, or natural colours are working. There are also some squid to be caught on the ocean side of Barrenjoey Head. To fish this water, it’s better to find baitfish before throwing over your paternoster rig with two squid jigs on it. Remember not to take more than you need.

Flathead are starting the show along the drop offs of Pittwater and sandy patches along the river. Drifting and casting soft plastics is an extremely successful way to target flathead. If you like to drag bait, you’ll also do very well. The better baits to use have been pilchards, whitebait, prawns or strips of fish. On soft plastics, cast around the edges of the weed beds and you should find a larger model or two. Careel Bay and Mackerel Beach are awesome areas to cast a soft plastic for flathead, as both areas have drop-offs and thick patches of ribbon weed.

For those wishing to head offshore, news is good. Along the coast, there are pockets of kingfish being caught. These fish seem to be moving with the downhill current, giving most headlands a chance of decent fish. If you’re going to target kingfish, Barrenjoey Head is a great place to start, but if you wish to head further afield, try our West Reef, East Reef, Newport Reef, Mona Vale bommies and most headlands south all the way to Sydney Heads.

Out in the deeper water, there are still snapper being caught as well as morwong, trevally and flathead. Blue-spot flathead are being found around the 50-60cm mark and once found are not very hard to catch. The better baits to use have been pilchards or fish strips. Micro-jigs are catching flathead and any snapper that are over the sand.

At the moment, squid are favoured by decent kings. I’m sure in the next week or two they’ll start to smash yellowtail again. Down rigging and keeping your eyes on the surface for rising bait schools is easiest way to track a few down. It’s worth grabbing your fishing gear and heading down to the coast. If you don’t have a boat to enjoy, give us a call so we can organise your great day on the water.


You’re never too old to catch kingfish. This 90cm model inhaled a small live squid off the surface.



Salmon have shown up in Broken Bay and some are in Pittwater too.



Plate sized snapper are being caught over the sand and gravel beds.

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